Snickerdoodle Lovers: I Give You Brown Butter Snickerdoodles

I posed a couple of questions on Twitter last night: “Who has never baked Snickerdoodles?” & “Who has never even tried a Snickerdoodle cookie?” Amazingly enough, there was a flood of responses from friends who have never tried one of these delicious little cookies and even more who have never baked them. Some claimed that they didn’t like them, some had never found a good recipe for them, a few thought that there were Snicker’s candy bars involved in the recipe (including my husband) and some had never even heard of them. If you’re a Snickerdoodle Virgin, it’s time that you change that. Snickerdoodles are the cookie that my Mom made the most as I was growing up. This is Mom’s recipe: Snickerdoodle Cookies.

I’ve professed my love for Snickerdoodles before. And I’m pretty keen on brown butter too. So it was a no-brainer to combine the two and create: Brown Butter Snickerdoodles.

Snickerdoodles are a cinnamon-sugary type of cookie, usually made with shortening to give them a light and crispy texture. If I’m making regular Snickerdoodles, I use the butter-flavored crisco.  For this recipe, I substituted brown butter for the shortening, hoping to impart a little bit of that nutty brown-butter flavor onto my favorite cookie.  To make brown butter, just melt butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat- stir or swirl the pan so the butter doesn’t burn, and remove from heat when the butter turns light brown and gives off a nutty scent.

A real Snickerdoodle recipe contains Cream of Tartar in its ingredient list. It’s essential, really, to give it that tangy little flavor that is indicative of what a Snickerdoodle is supposed to taste like.  Cream of tartar is the common name for potassium hydrogen tartrate, an acid salt that has a number of uses in cooking.  If you’re in the US, you’ll find it in your market’s spice aisle… if you’re outside the US hopefully you’ll have access to it as well.  You can always leave it out, but it does give a nice flavor to the cookie.

See that crackle… those craggly craters? That’s what Snickerdoodles are supposed to do.

How did the brown butter fare in these cookies? I could certainly taste it in the dough, and I thought it improved the final version of the baked cookie but I don’t think I could actually pinpoint the brown butter flavor in the baked product. You’ll have to let me know if you think the brown butter does wonderful things to the cookie.

Of course there’s a bit of nostalgia involved in how I feel about these cookies, but I do have to say that there is nothing quite like a snickerdoodle dunked in milk.  If you’ve had them in a bakery before and didn’t like them, trust me… they’re not the same as if they’re homemade by YOU.  And if you’ve never baked Snickerdoodles yourself, I hope you’ll give them a shot… either Mom’s Recipe or my Browned Butter Version.

Recipes can be found here:
Mom’s Snickerdoodles Recipe
Brown Butter Snickerdoodles Recipe

Leave a Comment




35 Responses to “Snickerdoodle Lovers: I Give You Brown Butter Snickerdoodles”

  1. 1

    Eve — February 25, 2010 @ 2:49 AM

    I am constatnly shocked that not everyone has tried a snickerdoodle. I grew up with them as well and now my son is growing up with them as the main “quick bake” solution in our house.

    I love the idea of using browned butter! I’ll be trying this.

  2. 2

    bellini valli — February 25, 2010 @ 4:02 AM

    Years ago I must admit that the first time I made snickerdoodles it was a recipe that did not impress so I never made them again. Years later I tried a cookie someone else had made and have been addicted ever since.

  3. 3

    Manggy — February 25, 2010 @ 5:34 AM

    Oh gosh! Bakery snickerdoodles. Hard!! But these look really good and the browned butter sounds like a particularly elegant touch :)

  4. 4

    Maria — February 25, 2010 @ 6:16 AM

    I am a huge snickerdoodle fan. I can’t believe there are so many people missing out. I will have to try the brown butter next time. They look fantastic Lori!

  5. 5

    Daryl — February 25, 2010 @ 6:22 AM

    These look fantastic but I have to admit my ignorance–what is brown butter?

    • Lori Lange replied: — February 25th, 2010 @ 6:43 AM

      To make brown butter, just melt butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat- stir or swirl the pan so the butter doesn’t burn, and remove from heat when the butter turns light brown and gives off a nutty scent.

  6. 6

    Heather @ Side of Sneakers — February 25, 2010 @ 6:26 AM

    I just LOVE Snickerdoodles. I never have shortening on hand so I never make them, but maybe this would work better :)

  7. 7

    Lydia — February 25, 2010 @ 6:46 AM

    Oh, you’ve made me hungry for Snickerdoodles. It’s been a couple of years since I had one.

    And the browned butter sounds like a lovely addition! Besides, I prefer butter over shortening any day.

  8. 8

    lo — February 25, 2010 @ 6:51 AM

    Can’t really beat a good snickerdoodle. So, even if the browned butter flavor isn’t a stand-out in these, I’ll bet they’re seriously good.

  9. 9

    carrian — February 25, 2010 @ 7:43 AM

    I like that! I’ll for sure give these a try!

  10. 10

    LilSis — February 25, 2010 @ 8:26 AM

    I’m happen to be one of the Snickerdoodle virgins! These look really, really good, but I better not make them until I lose my last few pounds. I have a feeling that I wouldn’t be able to stop at just one!

  11. 11

    Laurie — February 25, 2010 @ 9:58 AM

    The addition of brown butter rocks! I can’t imagine going through life not having tried a Snickerdoodle! :)

  12. 12

    Bob — February 25, 2010 @ 11:05 AM

    Sweet merciful crap. I want that so frigging bad. I love snickerdoodles I can only imagine they’d be better with brown butter.

  13. 13

    grace — February 25, 2010 @ 11:08 AM

    see, you say that you’re giving them to me, but you’re not. you’re just teasing. :)

  14. 14

    Gera @ SweetsFoodsBl — February 25, 2010 @ 1:07 PM

    Agree with many of them I never tried the snickerdoodles!! I felt in love with these beauties :)

    All the best,

    Gera

  15. 15

    Joyce — February 25, 2010 @ 1:32 PM

    I bake for the troops and always bake these with the cream of tarter and they ship so well. Funny but my Mom was a big baker and never made these when I was growing up? I started to make them when my kids were little and have been hooked ever since.

  16. 16

    Janice — February 25, 2010 @ 8:59 PM

    I love snickerdoodles, and have made them, but I’ve never made them from brown butter. I’ll have to try it. Thanks for the post!

  17. 17

    Jen Schall — February 25, 2010 @ 9:14 PM

    These look *amazing* … Yum!

  18. 18

    Lauel — February 26, 2010 @ 2:00 AM

    We LOVE homemade snickerdoodles. I have always used a butter/shortening combo, just because I don’t like rock hard snickerdoodles the next day…and I find with butter only that happens. Did you find that with browning the butter?

    I do want to ask this: My first batch of cookies when baked always come out beautifully. Craggly lines, glistening sugar, golden… But batches bakes after tend to lost thier classic craggly snickerdoodle look. It seems like the longer the dough sits the more I notice this. Same results when the dough is refrig. or left to room temp. I am always careful to follow cool pans etc… cooking baking suggestions.
    Do you find the same thing?

    • Lori Lange replied: — February 26th, 2010 @ 6:25 AM

      @Lauel, Lauel, I don’t care for rock hard cookie, and these still seemed fine after a day or so. I don’t think I paid much attention to the craggles after baking successive pans. I’m pretty sure I had fairly good craters in most of them. I’ll have to pay close attention to that possible result next time!

  19. 19

    SinfulSouthernSweets — February 26, 2010 @ 4:30 AM

    I will have to try this. I certainly believe browned butter makes everything better. Well, if it doesn’t effect the final product, I suppose we could just eat the dough :)
    Have a great weekend!

  20. 20

    Katrina — February 26, 2010 @ 5:47 AM

    Gorgeous photos, Lori and we love Snickerdoodles!

  21. 21

    Avanika (Yumsilicious Bakes) — February 26, 2010 @ 6:28 AM

    Oh Lori these look amazing! I too have never eaten or made a Snickerdoodle, but made Peabody’s Snickerdoodle Muffins, and loved the crunchy craggly tops. I’ve been meaning to make these since forever!

  22. 22

    Barbara — February 26, 2010 @ 10:11 AM

    I’ve been eating snickerdoodles for as long as I can remember. And I love reading about all the new ways to make them. This is the first with brown butter. Love the idea.
    (I noticed somebody made those rice krispie treats with brown butter, which sounded divine.)

  23. 23

    Lori Lynn — February 26, 2010 @ 3:52 PM

    I am certain your homemade version is far superior to the store-baked. The photos are fabulous. Please, pass the milk!
    LL

  24. 24

    Melissa W. — February 26, 2010 @ 5:20 PM

    Snickerdoodles are amazing. The first time I made them for my husband he was confused because there was no Snickers candy bar in the cookie. Hahaha. Snickerdoodles are a great and easy cookie to bake – and almost fail-proof. Thanks for sharing!

  25. 25

    Wife of the Year — February 27, 2010 @ 6:55 AM

    These look insane. I think I will make them this weekend.

  26. 26

    Kerstin — February 27, 2010 @ 10:07 AM

    Mmm, snickerdoodles are one of my favorites and your brown butter addition sounds fabulous!

  27. 27

    marla {family fresh — February 27, 2010 @ 10:31 AM

    Baked goods are always best when we make them ourselves. Great addition with the brown butter, tempts me much more than the standard Snickerdoodle. Think I am gonna work on the Skinny take….just for kicks!!

  28. 28

    Dina — February 27, 2010 @ 10:02 PM

    these snickerdoodles look yummy! great tips!

  29. 29

    Amy — March 2, 2010 @ 5:37 PM

    Dude, seriously. How can someone have gotten through high school without having as least tasted a snickerdoodle? Granted, I grew up in Tennessee. My high school cafeteria happened to have a lady who made THE. BEST. snickerdoodles. I always wanted to go back and get that recipe from her; sadly, she passed away before I got the chance. In her honor, you MUST TRY ONE OF THESE RECIPES!!

  30. 30

    ingrid — March 6, 2010 @ 8:55 PM

    Oh, wow! To think almost missed this one. I can’t even begin to imagine how much yummier these are. Bravo!
    ~ingrid

  31. 31

    evan — April 10, 2010 @ 2:37 PM

    I just stumbled upon your site! I love snickerdoodles and I cant wait to try this out.. I absolutely love brown butter- i just recently made apple-brown butter-cinnamon muffin, if you like brown butter then you’ve gotta try em and tell me what you think!!

  32. 32

    Suzanne — April 20, 2010 @ 5:43 AM

    I was thinking of making snickerdoodles today the brown butter is intriguing. Your photos are beautiful :)

  33. 33

    Joanne — June 5, 2012 @ 12:41 PM

    I had a copy of a similar recipe from a women’s magazine like Family Circle or Woman’s Day. And I had lost it –I had made some very delicious cookies from it. I will try this recipe to see if it creates that similar cookie.